Home > News & Reviews > Death From Above

Death From Above - Outrage! Is Now (Album Review)

Thursday, 14 September 2017 Written by Ben Gallivan

No, it’s not a typo. The 1979 is on the scrapheap and Jesse F. Keeler and Sebastien Grainger are sticking with the name Death From Above. Whether James Murphy and DFA Records have anything else to say on the matter is a question for another day, because first we have ‘Outrage! Is Now’ to deal with.

The Toronto duo’s initial ideas for this record were mooted while they were still putting the finishing touches to their 2014 comeback ‘The Physical World’ – definitely no hint of another hiatus happening there. Buoyed by what they thought was a clear success in the studio, Grainger and Keeler started logging ideas for album three before album two hit the shelves.

‘Outrage!...’ may be classed as a new beginning by the band, but it’s hard to step away from their now trademark sound of thundering bass and percussion topped off with Grainger’s vocal gymnastics.

They try their best, though, and opener Nomad owes more than a little to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Spread Your Love in terms of riffage: it is a stone-cold rock ‘n’ roll stomper. The distorted bass is so heavy in the mix that you can almost see the cones ripping in your speakers as the song progresses.

Teaser single Freeze Me is up next and is pretty much as melodic and downbeat as you’ll hear DFA get – in the verses at least. The bass riff, too, is as soaring and catchy as they come. Together the songs are a triumphant shot in the arm.

Despite classing themselves as punks, there’s a whole lotta blues going on here and slower, more brooding riffs have replaced the thrashier licks from the first record. This shift was alluded to on ‘The Physical World’ but it has become a lot more prevalent here. Caught Up, one of the highlights, is a fine example.

There are a couple of tracks here for those who long for the face-melters in the form of the excellent Moonlight and closer Holy Books, but it does seem like DFA have indeed pushed it up a level with their songwriting (something that wasn’t physically possible with the volume).

Both of their previous records were peppered with big-hitters, but the majority of ‘Outrage!...’ hits the mark. It sounds like an energetic debut rather than the work of a band who have been plying their trade for the best part of 20 years. It’s enough to shake away the last of the cobwebs from their long hiatus.





Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!




You May Also Like:

Forget The Barriers: Goat Girl And The Power of Subverting Expectations
Tue 22 May 2018
Photo: Holly Whitaker Expectations are constantly being placed on Goat Girl, and they just keep quietly subverting them. The band were hyped by London’s music press before they had released their debut single, while a narrative grew around them as a political garage-rock band that was part of a growing scene in south London. They then signed to Rough Trade, and 18 months later their self-titled debut album was released. Here they finally have an opportunity to let the music speak for itself.
How To Be a Real Adult: Common Holly on 'Playing House' and Finding Your Place
Tue 15 May 2018
Photo: Sean Mundy  “We’re all pretending to be adults on a fairly constant basis.” Brigitte Naggar tells it like it is. Her thoughtful, considered debut album as Common Holly, ‘Playing House’, was released in October last year, and although it jogs down the well-trodden break up path, she covers the difficult ground through sparse guitar textures, unexpected math-rock production and truly relatable twentysomething lyricism.
Hip-hop, Not Easy Listening: Lewis Parker On 20 Years of 'Masquerades & Silhouettes'
Thu 07 Jun 2018
For people of a certain generation, English producer Lewis Parker is best known for working with Ghostface Killah and being sampled by Joey Bada$$. Flitting between London and New York, Parker has made his name as one of hip-hop's most respected underground heads, renowned for his impeccable groove-based beats.
Journey of a Wild Heart: Introducing Kashena Sampson
Thu 31 May 2018
She may have been mentioned by Rolling Stone magazine in the same breath as Stevie Nicks, and already had her music compared to Linda Ronstadt, Bobbie Gentry and Jim Croce, but Kashena Sampson is capable of standing on her own two feet. Her debut album, ‘Wild Heart’, showcases a singer-songwriter whose artistic authenticity and integrity is increasingly rare in Nashville these days.
Enjoy the Balance: Collective Soul's Will Turpin Shines on 'Serengeti Drivers'
Tue 05 Jun 2018
Every now and then an album arrives from out of nowhere and instantly brightens up your day. Like rays of sunshine breaking through the clouds, ‘Serengeti Drivers’ – the debut solo album from Collective Soul bassist Will Turpin – is quite simply an unexpected treat. Bursting to the brim with a melodious mix of pop, rock, Americana, funk, soul and AOR, it’s the kind of record summer was invented for.
Timing Is Everything: Davey Newington Talks Boy Azooga's Debut LP '1,2 Kung Fu!'
Wed 06 Jun 2018
Photo: Stella Gelardi Malfilatre More haste, less speed. It’s a lesson a lot of us learn the hard way, and one that has shaped Davey Newington’s trajectory with his latest musical project, Boy Azooga.
Middle Kids - Lost Friends (Album Review)
Fri 11 May 2018
‘Lost Friends’, the debut album from Sydney indie-rockers Middle Kids, is a future soundtrack to an indie movie about lost millennials. The band are able to perfectly capture a feeling of intense insecurity through a retro Instagram filter.
Dear Nora - Skulls Example (Album Review)
Thu 31 May 2018
Did Katy Davidson need to bring back Dear Nora? When the project was placed on the shelf in 2008, it had just a handful of records to its name and a presence within the world of west coast DIY indie. Those who would miss it would miss it hard, but most wouldn’t blink an eye. Davidson moved on, enjoying a decade-long spell with Key Losers and Lloyd & Michael while also taking on session and producing work. So, the question remains: why bring back Dear Nora?
 
< Prev   Next >